Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

Soft Sugar Cookie

You know those Lofthouse Cookies™ sold at the grocery store? You know the ones, with pretty frosting and sprinkles  and are delicious.  Well, my best friend in college, Lisa introduced me to these yummy cookies.  Everyone seems to love these cookies and the homemade ones were a huge hit on blogs for awhile.  I’ve been making them for pitch-ins and parties and they are always a favorite.  You can adjust the frosting color and sprinkles depending on the occasion which makes these a great addition to any dessert table or cookie tray.  The bad thing about these—they are really good and hard to resist!  Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

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Soft Frosted Sugar Cookies

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Ingredients for the cookies:

4½ cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1½ cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

5 teaspoons vanilla extract

Ingredients for the frosting:

5 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

⅓ cup (5⅓ Tablespoon) unsalted butter, melted

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

6-8 Tablespoons milk (I’ve used 1%, 2%, and whole milk)

Food coloring (optional)

Sprinkles (optional)

Directions for the cookies

1.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2.  In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3.  In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy (if using a hand or stand mixer about 2-3 minutes on medium-high speed).

4.  Beat the eggs in one at a time, allowing each egg to be incorporated before adding the  next.  Make sure to scrape the bowl as needed.

5.  Add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.

6.  If using a mixer, on low speed add in the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.

7. Cover the dough and allow to chill for 1 hour.*

8.  Preheat the oven to 350°F when you are ready to bake the cookies.

9.  Depending on size you want of the cookies, scoop a ⅛ cup or ¼ cup of dough and roll it into a ball.

10.  Place the dough ball on the prepared cookie sheet and lightly flatten.  Make sure to place the cookies 2-3 inches apart.

11.  Bake the cookies 12-14 minutes, the cookies will just be set and should not brown.   Do not overbake.

12.  Remove the cookies from the oven and let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet then move to a wire rack to cool completely.  Frost after cooled (see below for frosting directions.)

Directions for the frosting

1.  Whisk the sifted powdered sugar, melted butter, vanilla, and salt in a bowl until smooth.

2.  Whisk in the milk a Tablespoon at a time, until you have reached the desired consistency, you don’t want the icing too runny.  It should be easily spread on the cookies. If you add too much milk, just add a little more powdered sugar.

3.  If you want, add in food coloring.

4.  Frost cookies and add sprinkles or other toppings.

5.  Store the cookies in an airtight container.

*I have let the cookies chill longer than an hour, if you do this they might need to soften just a little prior to scooping.  I have also frozen the dough after shaping it into balls.  If you do this, you will want to let the dough defrost prior to baking so you can flatten the dough lightly.

Mangia!

Lindsay Lou

Slightly adapted from Annie’s Eats

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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Chocolate and peanut butter, quite possible the most perfect food pairing put them together in a cookie and it just doesn’t get any better.  I knew Matt would love these so even though I made them for work I made sure to save a couple for him.  These were a hit at home and at work.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

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Ingredients

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

½ cup unsweetened cocoa, sifted

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed

½ cup (1 stick or 8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

¼ cup smooth peanut butter (I used natural)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg

2 Tablespoons water

1 ½ cups (about 21 or 8.5 ounces) Mini Reece’s® Peanut Butter Cup, lightly frozen*

Optional: additional Mini Reece’s® Peanut Butter Cup for topping

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or lightly grease baking sheets.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Set bowl aside.
  3. In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and peanut butter until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in the vanilla, egg, and water and mix until incorporated.
  5. Add the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture and mix until the flour is incorporated.
  6. Stir in the peanut butter cups.
  7. Using a tablespoon or tablespoon cookie dough scoop, place a tablespoon of cookie dough on baking sheets.  Space cookies 2-3 inches apart.  Press cookies down with your hand so they are roughly 1-inch thick. Optional: place extra piece or pieces of peanut butter cups on top of the cookies.
  8. Bake cookies 7-9 minutes, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time.  Remove from oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for 20 minutes, transfer to a wire rack to cool fully.

Mangia!

Lindsay Lou

*Freezing the peanut butter cups makes it easy to chop them and mix them into the cookie dough without falling apart too much

Slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour and Annie’s Eats

Sugar Cookie Bars


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I made these for an Earth Day “green” bag lunch seminar for work and they were a hit both at work and home (I may or may not have had one or two for breakfast one morning).  These don’t take a lot of time to make and you can adapt the frosting to any color that fits your mood or whatever special occasion you are making the cookies for.  The same goes with the toppings, you could use different sprinkles, chopped up candy, dried fruit, nuts, or coconut.  The options are endless!  These are perfect for pitch-ins and barbeques.
Sugar Cookie Bars
Makes 48 bars
Ingredients for the cookie bars:
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (optional)
Ingredients for the frosting:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
5 Tablespoons milk (I used 1%)
food coloring (optional)
Directions for the cookie bars
1.     Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Grease a 13-inch x 18-inch rimmed baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. 
2.     In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
3.     In the bowl of a mixer, combine the sugar and butter and cream on medium-high speed until it is light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
4.     One at a time, add the eggs to the butter mixture and mix well after each addition.  Scrape the bowl as needed, while mixing. 
5.     Scrape the vanilla seeds with the side of a knife and add into the butter mixture, with the vanilla extract. 
6.     Add in the flour mixture, and mix just until it is incorporated.  Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
7.     Spread mixture into prepared pan.  Use a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to smooth the batter evenly.
8.     Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.  Remove from the oven and let the pan cool on a wire rack.  Do not frost until the bars have cooled completely. 
Directions for the frosting
1.     In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter on medium-high speed until the butter is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
2.     Add the vanilla, salt, confectioner’s sugar, and milk.  Mixing until the frosting is light and fluffy. 
3.     Add in food color as desired.
4.     Frost the cooled bars, in the pan.  Add toppings as desired. 
Mangia!
Lindsay Lou
Slightly adapted from: Annie’s Eats

Oreo Cookie Cookies

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Matt came home one day after eating out with coworkers to tell me about an amazing cookie he had – it was like a chocolate chip cookie but with Oreos he exclaimed.  I was jealous and asked if he brought one home for me  (the answer was no if you were wondering).  These cookies were great and were a serious indulgence. I mean a cookie in a cookie; it just doesn’t get any better.  This cookie in a cookie is not a new idea, I’ve noticed that it is all the rage to put an Oreo cookie in the middle of a ball of cookie dough and bake it.   Unfortunately, Matt can’t remember the name of the place they ate these so I couldn’t credit them with this fantastic idea.

Oreo Cookie Cookies
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Ingredients
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature
2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 box (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding
18 Oreos, broken into pieces

Directions
1.  Preheat oven to 350F.
2.  In a large mixing bowl beat butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
3.  Add vanilla and eggs to butter mixture, beating well.
4.  In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and pudding.
5.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix well.
6.  Gently stir in Oreo pieces.
7.  Place tablespoon-sized balls of cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet.
8.  Bake for 8-10 minutes, cooling for 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to a wire rack to cool fully.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Inspired by : Unknown Baltimore Restaurant
Cookie dough adapted from Kroger’s White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

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These are one of my all-time favorite cookies even though they contain no chocolate.  We used to make them at the bakery I worked at in high school but I had never had them before that.  Making these cookies brings back wonderful memories of working at the bakery with amazing women.  I had the best job in high school!  These are soft cake-like cookies that I adapted a bit to make these whoopie pies last year.  Every year I get excited for fall, I love the change of seasons and I love these cookies.  So bake some up and have 1 or 2 or maybe 3 😉  These would make a great addition to any cookie platter or Thanksgiving dessert table. 
Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Ingredients for cookies
1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup pumpkin
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Ingredients for Frosting
1 cup confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
4 Tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions 
1.  Preheat oven to 350
2.  Cream the sugar and shortening for about 1 minute.
3.  Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla, mix until combined. 
4.  Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Add mixture to the pumpkin mixture and mix until combined. 
5.  Drop cookies on cookie sheet using a tablespoon, cookie scoop or other desired method (cookies do not spread much). 
6.  Bake cookies for 15 minutes or until bottoms are starting to brown – do not over bake. 
7.  While cookies are baking mix all the ingredients for the frosting in a bowl. 
8.  When the cookies are done, remove from the oven and let them sit on the tray for 1-2 minutes, move to a wire rack.  Frost cookies while warm.

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source:  Baker’s Peak Bakery

Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies

@font-face { font-family: “MS 明朝”;}@font-face { font-family: “MS 明朝”;}@font-face { font-family: “Cambria”;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Cambria; }.MsoChpDefault { font-family: Cambria; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; } @font-face { font-family: “MS 明朝”;}@font-face { font-family: “Cambria Math”;}@font-face { font-family: “Cambria”;}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Cambria; }.MsoChpDefault { font-family: Cambria; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; }If you are looking for a quick and easy cookie, look no further.  Chocolate oatmeal no bake cookies are simply delicious and easy to make!  There are many variations including adding peanut butter or coconut.  I am not sure where this recipe came from (you can find it all over the internet) but I know where I first had one of these – at Sugar and Spice, a little bakery in the Indiana Memorial Union.   I also remember the first time I made these – we were moving from Indiana and I was trying use up the last bits of opened baking supplies so I sent these to my Fiancé, who moved before me to start his job.  I made two batches this time, as you can see they make a good sized cookie and are rich but they were for a fishing trip with men so I thought I should count on two for everyone.  My first batch set-up well but the second batch took longer, some all night to set-up so try to be patient with the cookies (I wasn’t 😉  The ones that had trouble setting up I moved to a wire rack after they were mostly set-up.  Make sure you use instant (minute) oats.  I did not sift my cocoa but wished I had, you don’t have to but make sure to break up the lumps of cocoa in the melting mixture. 

Chocolate Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies
Makes about 24 cookies
Ingredients
3 cups instant oats
2 cups sugar
1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons or 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions
1.  Place oats in a large mixing bowl; set aside.
2.  Prepare 2 cookie sheets placing a sheet of wax paper on each.
3.  Melt sugar, butter, cocoa powder, and milk in a saucepan; stirring occasionally making sure to break up the lumps of cocoa.  Bring to a boil and let boil 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  
4.  Remove saucepan from heat and add vanilla.
5.  Pour mixture over the oats and mix well.  Drop using a spoon or cookie scooper on wax paper.
6.  Let cookies sit until set-up, time can vary but the should not be sticky or sticky at all.  Transfer to wire rack to let the cookies finish drying.
Mangia!

Lindsay Lou
Source: Unknown

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting


I know this post is a bit late but I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots of yummy food. We were traveling so I thought a perfect dessert would be whoopie pies. A friend has been talking about making pumpkin whoopie pies, which she brought in to share and I was unfortunately sick that day. What is a whoopie pie? I didn’t know either until I moved to Maryland and actually went to Pennsylvania Dutch Country and had 3 (I shared these 3 and in our defense we couldn’t decide among the pumpkin, chocolate, and red velvet whoopie pies). A whoopie pie (also known as a “gob”) is basically a cookie-cake sandwich with frosting in the middle (I mean, does it get any better?) The cookie is very soft, like cake so it is like a portable piece of cake. As I was searching for pumpkin whoopie pie recipes I started to realize the cookie part was very similar to my favorite pumpkin cookie we used to make at the bakery I worked in. I decided to use that recipe with a some adaptations to the spices. I noticed on a recipe or two that some had added maple syrup to the frosting and I thought that would be a nice addition with cinnamon to the cream cheese frosting. These would be a nice addition to a cookie tray (you can make them smaller).

I used a disposable frosting bag with a tip (Wilton #12) to pipe the cookie dough on parchment paper to ensure even circles but you could use a sandwich bag with the tip cut-off, which I did to pipe on the frosting (see picture below).

I used my stand mixer but you could certainly mix the ingredients by hand.

Ingredients for cookies:
1 cup sugar
1 cup shortening
1 cup pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling just pumpkin)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Ingredients for Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon table salt
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Directions for cookies:
1.Preheat oven to 350F
2. Cream the sugar and shortening.
3. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla, mix well.
4. Sift the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, and ground nutmeg.
5. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix.
6. Lay parchment paper down on cookie sheets, then using a frosting bag or plastic bag pipe cookies onto parchment paper in a circle (see picture below). You could use 2 spoons but the piping will help you to have nice even cookies.
7. Using a knife or an icing knife (frosting spreader) smooth the cookies out.
8. Bake in 350F for 12-15 minutes (these cookies will not get very dark so don’t overcook). I like to turn the cookie sheets and also swap the cookie sheets from the bottom to top rack half-way through baking.
9. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes then transfer to cooling rack.
10. I try to match my cookies up by size, then flip one cookie over so bottom is facing up. Pipe frosting (see directions below) the cookie, then gently press another cookie on top (bottom of this cookie facing the frosting). In this picture you can see this is the plastic sandwich bag I used – just cut the tip off to pipe frosting on. See next picture with tip of the bag cut off.
11. Store in the refrigerator.

Directions for Frosting:
1. Cream butter and cream cheese until mixed then whip for about 1 minute.
2. Mix in the vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup.
3. Gradually add the powdered sugar.
4. Refrigerate for about 2 hours prior to icing the whoopie pies. (see above for instructions on frosting/assembling the whoopie pies).

Mangia!
Lindsay Lou

Source: Cookies adapted from Baker’s Peak Pumpkin Cookies
Frosting: Adapted from Aunt Cathy’s Red Velvet Cake Frosting